A Week at Rutland Water 20th to 27th August 2017

A week at Barnsdale Lodge on Rutland Water with Nick who was able to use a friends time share for a week.

Very nice place in the grounds of the Barnsdale Hotel. Well manicured gardens run down to the water and with lovely views over the reservoir.

The Hotel

View over the water from our lodge

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28th The End

Up at 5am and left Kei Mouth at 6am for the trip to East London airport. Collected from airport and went to Clearspan office. Had a chat with Bruce Maltby. Went  off to Sandton City for the rest of the day to kill time. At airport by 7pm for our 10pm flight back to UK.


Great trip once again


Last morning sunrise 5 am Kei Mouth




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Me & Er went for a walk along the beach whilst Jeff & Cheryl planted up a few shrubs. Chilled the rest of the day and did a bit of packing


A gallop along the beach


Last walk along the beach

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26th almost the end!

Walked to Morgon Bay from the house through the bush and along the beach. Beautiful day. Light lunch at the “Deck” in Morgan Bay. Chilled in the afternoon and then went for sundowners on the cliff top.


The beach glistening in the sunlight


Lunch at the “Deck”


Bottle of red consumed at sunset

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Left the Drakensburg early for our drive to Jo’burg to meet up with Jeff at the Clearspan offices in Boksburg arrive at 2.0 pm and set off for the airport for our flight to East London. Cheryl picked us up from the airport for our drive to their house in Kei Mouth about and hour away. Beautiful house with stunning views .

Walked along the beach next morning after crossing the Kei river on a small ferry. Nguni cattle of the Zulu’s grazing on the beach. Soaked up the atmosphere in the afternoon. Reminising about our Clearspan days together around the braai in the evening.


Last view of the Berg


Jeff’s lovely home in Kei Mouth


Stunning view from the house


The beach


The rocks


Nguni cattle on the beach. Cattle of the Zulu’s. Beautiful markings




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Our last day and did another walk to Sterkspruit falls, about an hour and a half round trip. Went to the Drakensburg Boys School Choir in the afternoon. Fabulous.


The falls


The Pools


The concert


The Choir. No photos allowed in the auditorium.


Great Gum Boot dance


Great place to study

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Our first real exercise today in 5 weeks. Walked up into the Little Berg from Monks Cowl, a short drive from our hotel and the entry point into the National Park. Paid our permit fees and did a 3 hour return walk to a rocky outcrop called the Sphinx, an elevation of 1000 feet above our starting point. Quite steep to begin with and got really puffed and hot. Realised quite quickly that of course we are at an elevation in the Champagne Valley of 1500 metres, so at altitude and too much breakfast!
Amazing views from the Sphinx that photos can’t do justice. Just spectacular landscape, no wonder that the Drakensburg is a World Heritage site.
Arrived back at the hotel at 1.30 and had a light lunch with sparkling water, a one off!
Sat around the pool in the afternoon. Somehow lost some good photos from my SD card when doing a download. Stupid boy.


On the way up, lots of Protea


Fresh water from Crystal Falls


A short break, I think we are going the right way?


Cathkin Peak & Champagne Castle behind


View from the Sphinx

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21st sort of

Bit of a grey and misty morning so decided to head for the small town of Winterton about 25 K’s away. Passed a sign to a place called Ardmore and African Loom. Took a right and 5k’s down a dirt road there we were. Ardmore is a small self catering cottage complex with a weaving workshop and shop selling goods made very locally, all proceeds and profit going to help the local kids education and single family’s with HIV. Had an interesting chat with manager with regard to their funding and projects. Offered complimentary coffee and muffin in the garden.
Off again towards Winterton and passed a place weaving rugs. Lots of locally made rugs of all sizes and materials, wool, cotton, silk and leather. We now have even more luggage to bring home. The owners wife is Chinese and runs the restaurant at the side. Had a freshly made sushi lunch while our purchase was packed. Eventually got to Winterton, a typical one horse town. Didn’t stay long, the Spar didn’t have any tea we wanted. Still grey and misty on the high Berg.


Ardmore Guest Farm


African Loom workshop


Rug Weavers


Lin yang making our sushi


Light lunch ??

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Took a little road trip around the area visiting a few craft / curio shops. Went for a short trek in the forest around the the hotel in the afternoon. Baboons around one of the small dams. Misty over the Bergs most of the day but cleared out late evening. Quite spectacular.


Champagne Castle Hotel


View of the low Berg


A small dam on our short trek from the hotel

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All packed up for trip back to Jo’burg and had brekkie at the Village Cafe again.
Arrived Jo’burg on time at 3pm, said our good byes to L&M
Picked up our hire car and 100 metres from airport got stopped by police. Wanted to ticket us for stopping on side of road to set Sat Nav. 1000 rand ticket OR maybe do a deal. Gave him 200 rand and we were on our way. Crooked bastard, basic corruption.
Four hour trip to our hotel in the Drakensburg. Arrived at 8.30 and went straight into restaurant for dinner.


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